The first round of the NBA
playoffs featured a great matchup between the New Jersey Nets
and the Indiana Pacers. The Nets won the series in 6 games and while the Pacers gave it their all in the series, they came up short.
All season long the Pacers had trouble and looked confused. This was mainly caused by the Ron Artest fiasco in which he challenged Jermaine O’Neil and demanded a trade out of Indiana. Artest was then suspended indefinitely until the Pacers made a trade with the Sacramento Kings for Peja Stojakovic. Peja started slow for the Pacers in the reguilar season and had trouble with his jump shot.
In the regular season Jermaine O’Neil suffered from injuries and the Pacers were lucky just to make the playoffs in a very weak Eastern Conference.
The NJ Nets were led by their big trio of players: Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. Jason Kidd led the offense with his point guard skills and his all around play. He even had a triple double in the series which shows how good he is. Kidd can do it all with rebounding, passing and scoring.
However the star of this series was definitely Vince Carter who led the way with his scoring ability. He had a couple of 30 point games and the Nets greatly needed his scoring becuase at times they struggled to score. Carter had some jaw dropping dunks in this series.
Small Forward Jefferson also had a good series and shot a high percentage from the floor in field goals. He played good defense on Peja and limited Peja’s scoring production.
The coach of the Nets Lawrance Frank had a good game plan for the series. In addition the Nets held home court advantage which helped them in the series.
In the end, a hurt Jermaine O’Neil and inconsistent Peja were no match for the Nets Big 3 and the Pacers lost the series 4 games to 2.